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Amber Elaine Kinaston, of Smartville, California died tragically in a car accident on October 22, 2015. Amber was born in Timaru, New Zealand on June 5, 1983. In 1988, her family immigrated to Penn Valley, California. Amber loved animals and from an early age raised sheep on her grandparent’s farm in Lake Wildwood. Throughout her life, she made friends easily. She was caring, fun, kind, and had an amazing sense of humor. The most important people in her life were her two beautiful children, Ewan and Sequoia. She was an incredible mother.

Amber began school at Learning Unlimited, Grass Valley, a school run by two amazing teachers, Sherry and Gary Nodine. From an early age, Amber exhibited a love of writing and poetry. After graduating Silver Springs High School in 2001, she completed an Associates Degree at Sierra Community College, where she also excelled on the cross-country running team. She graduated Sacramento State University with a double Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. While enrolled in her Masters in Criminal Psychology, she also taught classes at Sacramento State. Before college, Amber was enrolled in the US Army with the rank of PFC. Over the last few years, she was a Girl Scout Leader and soccer coach. She was always active and fit. She played soccer and skied cross-country for years during her youth and later in life was a runner (winning her first half marathon). She was also an adventurous spirit, skydiving and bungee jumping in New Zealand.

Amber is survived by her son, Ewan McClanahan of Los Angeles; her daughter, Sequoia Grove of Smartville; her parents, Snow and Nola Kinaston of Fairfield; her sister Rebecca Kinaston of Dunedin, New Zealand; her partner Tim Grove of Smartville; her ex-husband, Jonas McClanahan of Los Angeles; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins in New Zealand and the USA.

There will be a memorial to celebrate Amber’s all-too-brief life. She was a beautiful person who cherished her friends and family. Now it is time to remember her as she would want to be remembered: during the fun times, the times with her children. Please join us at Buttermaker’s Cottage, Western Gateway Park, Penn Valley on the November 22, 2015 (1-7 pm). Please bring a plate, drinks will be supplied by Snow. A fund for Ewan and Sequoia’s future has been set up: https://www.gofundme.com//xv7cnsc4. Any contribution, big or small, would be very much appreciated. We are truly sorry for this terrible tragedy and know how much everyone will miss Amber with all their hearts.

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